He delivered a tough-talking speech, discussing the need for education reform, nuclear energy development and dismissing universal health care where "some computer here in Washington will decide what treatment you can have."
And, he gave a nod to his down-home roots.
"I'm not a Republican because I grew up rich," Huckabee said. "I'm a Republican because I grew up poor and didn't want to wait for the government to rescue me."
The normally optimistic Huckabee ended his speech with an unusually dire note though.
"Let's change this country because if we don't there may not be another generation left to get the job done," he said before walking off stage.